New Hydrodemolition Machine Aims to Cut the Noise
Hydrodemolition has its advantages in the removal of concrete, but a common complaint is the noise levels from the power packs that drive the machines. Looking to address this, Swedish-based Aquajet has launched the Ecosilence 3.0, an updated power pack for its hydrodemolition robots that increases the overall power, with options to significantly lower ambient noise levels.
While hydrodemolition can remove concrete while leaving rebar intact, it took extra effort to get all of the concrete out from behind the rebar, a requirement for many infrastructure rehabilitation projects. “Our earlier model was water-cooled, but customers wanted a more powerful machine,” says Roger Simonsson, president, Aquajet.
Simonsson explains that customers were asking for higher pressures to really get the concrete out from behind the rebar, without increasing the overall water use. This presented a problem for Aquajet, which was approaching an upper limit on what it could deliver with its existing power pack configurations.
The result is the new Ecosilence power pack, available with three engine options ranging from 400 hp to 700 hp, able to deliver hydrodemolition pressures of up to nearly 37,000 psi. “Now we have a new way to cool the engine, with a big heat exchanger and separate fans,” says Simonsson.
The engine and pump are skid mounted for easy transport, and now fit into a 20-ft container, 3-ft shorter than the earlier model.
Separating the cooling system from the engine not only allows for more customization, but additional options as well, says Simonsson. “You can put whatever you like in the system, and you can also add the silencer for quieter operation,” another feature customers requested for demolition jobs in densely populated areas. “We hear of a lot of jobs in parking garages where people are around,” he says. “For that you need a silent pump—people will get really annoyed if you leave the pump running all day.”
The new Ecosilence also addresses another issue customers had with its ability to work in rugged construction and marine environments. Many of Aquajet’s customers in Northern Europe, Canada and the U.S. are performing concrete demolition in coastal settings, where salt water intrusion can damage the equipment. Ecosilence 3.0 is a fully enclosed, containerized system that can withstand these harsh environments.
This new feature has been a hit with Aquajet’s first customer for Ecosilence 3.0—Vetlanda, Sweden-based Svensk Vattenbilningsteknik AB, which does a great deal of demolition and infrastructure work in the Port of Gothenburg, Sweden. “The first unit is with [this customer] and they are very happy with it,” says Simonsson. “They are doing a lot of work in Gothenburg, in the harbor, dealing with the salt water and the wind.”
Ecosilence 3.0 will be available in the U.S. and Canada, with parts and service handled by equipment maker Brokk, which aquired Aquajet in 2016. Simonsson says that the Coronavirus pandemic has not impacted production of the new hydrodemolition power pack and the company expects to be able to meet orders.